Happy Holidays to All! My wish for all the children and their families is to have a holiday filled with Peace and Love. Maria Montessori knew that the way to Peace was to teach tolerance, acceptance, compassion, and independence. It is a joy to see these attributes on a daily basis in our classroom. I am blessed to have been lead down the Montessori path and to be able to share this with children every day.
We had two great events last week – our community open house, which was a successful event – and the parade in Georgetown on Saturday. We had a strong turnout of parents, students and staff who were all there celebrating our school and the holiday. It was such a good time! Our next event is this Saturday at Barnes and Nobles. Be sure to communicate with Ms. Kim if your child will be able to come to sing carols and spread some joy.
I’m attaching some pictures from our MMUN poster session on Friday. We had an informative session with some good-looking posters. Next, students will begin working on their position papers. The 6th years going to NYC must have their papers completed by December 15. We will be working on them in class, but it will probably require some time at home for research and writing.
You might have heard about our Science unit this past week – dissecting owl pellets. If your child didn’t tell you about it, ask them! It was a very interesting activity that tied in with our study of vertebrates. I’ve attached some pictures from the activity to this email, but I’ve put even more on our class Face Book page, Montessori Messages.
Owls regurgitate a pellet comprised of bones and fur from their prey that they cannot digest, so by taking the pellets apart we can see what they ate by identifying the skulls and other bones that are found. This is not a new science activity – teachers have dissected pellets for ages.
Our school has purchased science materials called Picture Perfect Science Kits on a variety of topics. I use these kits all of the time. The signature feature of the kit is that it ties together literature and science by identifying informational picture books that are to by read in conjunction with the science activities. The students love to be read to and these books are chosen because they are not only informational, but also engaging and have beautiful illustrations. They are fabulous mentor texts that help bring the science concepts alive. The two books we read last week were White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies and Michael Forman and Butternut Hollow Pond by Brian Heinz and Bob Marstall.
I’ve also tied math and journaling in with this unit by asking the kids to build graphs to represent the class bone data and to classify organisms from the second book into three different groups based on different characteristics then writing about their classification choices in a scientific manner. We will break out another kit this week, Bugs! Guess what it is about….
Even though December is a short month, it will be full! Here are some of the plans ahead:
- We are reading and comparing 4 different ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’stories using 4 different cultural stories – Gullah, Cajun, American, and African. It will be a lot of fun hearing the different dialects of these stories. The kids will be planning skits to go with each story. Everyone is assigned to a different story and working together to adapt their version into a play. The plan is to perform them at school on December 15. We should have parts assigned by Wednesday, so please ask your child and see if there are any props or costumes that need your help.
- Secret Santa was voted a ‘Seasonal Favorite’ and is returning this holiday season! Our classroom Secret Santa Week will start on December 11. Not every child chose to participate, so don’t be upset if your child is one of them.
- Here are the guidelines: Santas are asked to bring in a handmade gift or a gift with a maximum value of $1 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Be sure to put the recipient’s name on the gift only. On Friday, the 15th, a larger gift with a value of $5 or less can be brought in. PLEASE remember these gifts do not have to be purchased! Handmade items are cherished by all. Examples: cookies, a story, socks, toys, chapstick, silly things, flowers, etc. etc. etc. Shhh – I plan to hit up the Dollar Store for my recipient.
- December 8 – Parent’s Night Out from 5:30 – 9 sponsored by the MMUN team – Take some time to get your holiday shopping done, or just enjoy a night out! I will be there along with the MMUN team with some fun activities to entertain your children while you enjoy yourselves. The registration form was sent home on Friday and can be found on the weekly CMCS e-blast.
- December 13 – In class Spelling Bee to determine one UE 4th, 5th, and 6th year representative to go to the whole school bee in January.
- December 15 – PJs and Movie Day! This will be a fun day of reading, relaxing, and having fun. We will probably have our Twas the Night Before Christmas skits after lunch in case you’d like to come watch. I will let you know a definite time in next week’s newsletter.